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There are 54 portions in the Torah. Only six of the portion titles include the names of people, three of whom were Israelites (Sarah, Korach and Pinchas) and three of whom were not (Noach, Yitro and … more
The title of this week’s parashah , Shemot, means “names,” and refers to the names of Jacob’s sons, who entered Egypt as free men. However, in the biblical account of the … more
Harvard Prof. Shaye J.D. Cohen identifies the Maccabean Revolt against Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, which began in 167 B.C.E., as “history’s first recorded struggle for relgious … more
The book of Genesis begins with God deciding to create human beings to rule all the other created things: “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of … more
The Hebrew month of Tishrei is one long marathon of Jewish rituals. We blasted into this month with Rosh Hashanah. We raised ourselves up with the White Fast of Yom Kippur. We entered the comfort of … more
A cartoon that once appeared in the New Yorker pictures a man saying to his therapist, “But I love the past, I grew up there!”   How true that is. Let’s face it, as Rhode … more
This week’s Torah portion has an odd name. It is called “Ekev,” a word that in Hebrew means “Because.” Like all of the Torah portions,   Ekev gets its name … more
Our portion this Shabbat is named after Aaron’s grandson, Pinchas, who defended God’s honor in the previous portion, and was promised that the Priestly Dynasty would remain in this family … more
In April , I had the pleasure of seeing the Arctic Playhouse’s production of “The 39 Steps” (my spouse, Annie, was in the cast), a comedy based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 … more
Monday and Tuesday, May 8-9, brings one of the oddest holidays of the Jewish year. Lots of people can tell you that Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the counting of the omer (didn’t you … more
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